Et Cetera …

Plan seems too hopeful

Truman Public School has chosen its direction. The school board opted this week to balance the budget and work on increasing enrollment. Thoughts about working more closely with another district are on the back burner.

This comes amid a precipitous drop in enrollment at the school, even as voters have given the district more money to repair buildings.

Truman’s decision comes with an obvious question: And then what? It is far from guaranteed the school can attract students who have opted to go elsewhere. In fact, we’d say getting them back is a longshot.

Actions have consequences

People have a gut reaction to the notion of a higher minimum wage. They figure those on the bottom of the economic ladder deserve more, so they don’t mind seeing lawmakers raise the wage.

But those who must contend with the new mandate – namely employers – are going to react. Higher costs, i.e. a higher minimum wage, is going to force them to raise prices, put off improvements or expansions, or opt not to hire more workers.

As Minnesota and the federal government debate a higher minimum wage, it is worth remembering that every action has a consequence. Government cannot simply change the tenets of economics by fiat.

Reform plan sensible

We share a belief with those who are interested in forgiving people for their criminal pasts, if those people demonstrate years of good behavior. Minnesota lawmakers are weighing a plan to reform expunging – wiping clean – criminal records so that citizens can get a fresh start, without having to worry about employment or housing obstacles.

We see the general outlines of this plan as good, such as expungement after three years for misdemeanors, more for felonies and no forgiveness for crimes of violence. Lawmakers seem to be on the right track.